In Security We Trust!

An alarm company’s success should not be based solely on the number of installations it performs or how much equipment it gives away for “free,” but rather on its ability to provide real security to each and every one of its customers. Here’s a quick quiz for all alarm dealers: Are you installing burglar alarms or security systems? Do you and your customers know the difference? When it comes to your customers’ security, is it a one-size-fits-all approach? Are the alarm systems you install hardwired, wireless, hybrid, or just literally useless? Do the alarm systems you install provide protection, detection, or just lots and lots of yard signs and decals?

Excerpt taken from The Alarm Science Manual by Jeffrey Zwirn. For more information on alarm science visit,!

Reliable Equipment In The Industry

All alarm industry veterans must remember a time when the equipment that they purchased not only worked out of the box, but for many years afterward. If by chance the equipment you bought did not work, manufacturers were quick to replace it free of charge. In fact, I remember swapping out equipment at a distributor’s facility with no questions asked. The time has come for security product manufacturers to stand behind the equipment they develop. If not, then the reputation of the entire alarm industry is in jeopardy.


Excerpt taken from Jeffrey Zwirn’s book, The Alarm Science Manual! For more information visit!

Motion Detector Tamper Switches Offer Inherent Safeguards

There is no use spending good money on a motion detector equipped with a tamper switch if you don’t use it. Of course, many motion detectors manufactured today do not employ tamper switches. Yet the multitude of units installed each year that do offer this added feature need to be connected properly. And this does not mean tied in series with the NC contacts of the protective loop output of the detector.

Properly connected tamper switches should be tied into a 24 hour day night zone while the general burglar alarm system is off. This is done to detect inside covert attempts to disable the motion detectors’ capabilities before the system is armed at night.


Excerpt taken from, The Alarm Science Manual, for more information visit!

The Risks of Shunting

For the past several years, due to the advancement of control panel technology, keypad “Stay” shunting has become a modern-day option for alarm system programmers. Although it enables installers to completely eliminate individual mechanized shunts, which clearly had their own limitations and vulnerabilities, many serious concerns still exist when “Stay” shunting is utilized. Personally, I believe it can create a danger to the customer and a liability for the alarm company in certain circumstances. To minimize the potential liability that keypad “Stay” shunting brings to alarm companies, customers should be informed of the associated dangers of such programming before their alarm system is installed.

For more information on the risks of shunting or alarm science, visit!

Why Should You Care About Alarm Science?

Alarm Science, at its core, is helping to scientifically and technically ensure that electronic security and life safety systems will operate as intended, and most importantly, when needed in an emergency. Likewise, Alarm Science further helps ensure the appropriate notification of the subscriber and the local authorities of the emergency at hand.  

Each security system can, and will, be subject to its own unique variables and differing fact patterns for the subject premises. Similarly, each forensic case has its own special and unique set of facts, and there may be other considerations surrounding the circumstances relating to the incident or the particular loss at hand, which need to be evaluated. 

For a more in-depth overview of alarm science, visit today!

Are Your Installation Methods Rooted In Junk Science?

Science is defined as knowledge, especially that which is gained through experience. Industry professionals, through their experience of recommending, designing, installing, programming, servicing, and monitoring a myriad of security solutions, have developed an Alarm Science. Unfortunately, a kind of junk science has evolved as well.

Scores of alarm companies employ a one-size-fits-all approach to installations, rather than tailoring each of the many layers that make up a customized solution based on a client’s individual security needs. Still others may promise to deliver a “customized” solution, but often their pledge is nothing more than a veil of hyperbole laced with fancy sales lingo.

The propensity for liability and litigation is high in the alarm business, and alarm company owners expose themselves to considerable loss potential if they do not act prudently and in the best interests of their clientele.

Excerpt taken from The Alarm Science Manual, available on!

Preparing Your Customers For An Ambush!

What is something that will not cost your alarm company any more money to enable or monitor, but can definitely help protect against future liabilities? It is the programming of a control panel’s ambush feature. This simple practice could save the lives of your customers.

How vulnerable is your customer’s business? Is its premises located in a high crime area? Is the store open to the public? Does the premises have cash on hand, a safe, and high-value merchandise? Does the premises close late in the evening? Does the system you installed have the capability of silently transmitting an ambush signal to the central station in case of an ambush or duress situation? Were your customers trained in how to operate this feature? What is the propensity for personal injury or death to your customers during an armed robbery? How does your company quantify this risk? These are all important questions you should consider and inquire about during your security survey.

Where robbery is a threat, these questions are but a few of the criteria that a security professional should understand and take into consideration when designing, recommending, installing, or monitoring a commercial security system.


More from The Alarm Science Manual at!